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Labor releases election plans to back regional tourism

Labor releases election plans to back regional tourism
April 22, 2019

Amid a range of funding commitments being made by Australia's political parties in the lead up to the Federal election, Labor Shadow Minister for Tourism Anthony Albanese has released details of a comprehensive Regional Tourism Plan that aims deliver more jobs, better attractions, better airports and smarter marketing for what he calls "this critical industry".

The strategy will include $95 million in grants to improve infrastructure around existing tourism attractions, $30 million to expand the range of tourism experiences in individual regions and $25 million for Tourism Australia to get more international visitors to Australia and showcase our beautiful country to domestic tourists.

If elected, a Labor Government would invest $100 million to help local councils maintain and grow regional airports.

Announcing the plan, the Shadow Minister advised "tourism is a significant industry – it is at the heart of our regions and provides a significant boost to economies around the country.

"Regional tourism provides more than half a million jobs in related industries, with 43 cents in every tourism dollar spent in regional Australia.

"Labor’s Regional Tourism plan, the result of extensive consultation with industry, local communities and local government, will bring a new focus to regional tourism."

The plan includes:

Building up existing tourism offerings:
• Investing $40 million to improve infrastructure around existing regional tourism attractions to build upon their success and improve the experience of visitors
• Projects will be delivered in partnership with local and state governments or industry.
• Labor’s investment will include support for Rottnest Island in Western Australia, Freycinet National Park in Tasmania and Sovereign Hill in Victoria.
• In addition, there will be a further $55 million for infrastructure and facilities upgrades at other world-renowned tourism destinations, which brings this total package to $95 million.

Creating new tourism in regional Australia:
• Investing $30 million to unlock new tourism opportunities so individual regions can offer a broader range of experiences to visitors
• Eligible projects could include feasibility or concept studies such as First Nations cultural experiences, agri-tourism, eco-tourism, new infrastructure or upgrades to existing infrastructure.
• The fund could also be accessed to improve accessibility at tourism sites which could include disability toilets, improvements to pathways at lookouts for wheelchair access, charging infrastructure for mobility scooters and safety improvements to railings and signage.
• These projects will also be delivered in partnership with state and local governments or industry.

Attracting new visitors at home and abroad:
• Boosting the Tourism Australia Budget by $25 million so it can
• Promote domestic tourism on top of its existing role of international marketing to encourage more Australians to holiday at home.
• Increase its capacity to work with airports, airlines and governments to facilitate additional joint marketing activities with the aim of encouraging international airlines to put on additional flights and develop new routes.

Supporting regional aviation:
• Creating of a $100 million fund to improve and grow the nation’s regional airports
• Councils report a significant backlog in aviation in airport maintenance and would access this grant fund to clear the backlog with projects funded on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
• Better maintenance of regional airports will not only improve the tourist experience, but more importantly, allow ensure that airports maintain the highest possible levels of safety.
• Australia’s tourism offerings are among the best in the world.

Albanese added "retaining Australia’s competitive advantage as a tourist destination requires investment in high-quality, accessible infrastructure, particularly in regional areas.

"This makes a significant difference to the local economies of regional and rural towns across the nation."

Image: Labor’s proposed investment will include support for attractions such as Freycinet National Park in Tasmania.

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16th April 2019 - MP presents $1.5 million novelty cheque to sports club despite funds not being approved

11th April 2019 - Rottnest Island developments backed by Federal and Western Australian Governments

9th April 2019 - Adelaide Zoo to keep pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni

3rd April 2019 - Mixed reactions to Federal budget tourism spending

2nd April 2019 - Federal budget delivers pre-election funding commitments for arts, sport and tourism

2nd April 2019 - Number of international visitors to Australia hits record high

30th March 2019 - Tourism Association outlines government expenditure needed for industry growth 

2nd March 2019 - Industry welcomes commitment to the Quality Tourism Framework

6th May 2017 - Rising visitor numbers create need for solutions at crowded Freycinet National Park

28th January 2016 - New Tourism Australia campaign set to boost international visits to the Sunshine Coast

16th September 2015 - TTF calls for new Prime Minister Turnbull to restore Tourism Minister portfolio

11th June 2014 - Federal Government slammed for ‘abandoning’ tourism

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